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Monday, March 14, 2016

Timing Is Everything...


Not sure when/if I'll get around to reading/reviewing either of these, but a couple of new popular books from Basic Books worth noting:

"Burn Math Class" by Jason Wilkes
http://amzn.to/1QQGq4y

and

"Fluke" by Joseph Mazur
http://amzn.to/1Xnw90i

Both books appear at a good time.  "Burn Math Class" seems to be another look at how math education ought to transpire (versus how it traditionally has), and arises right on the heels of renewed sound-and-fury from Andrew Hacker's book "The Math Myth."

The Mazur book is yet another entry on probability and coincidences and the like (and the public's mis-perception thereof), coming right at a moment when there has been tremendous attention, in both the professional and popular press, to the misuse of statistics.

Just from leafing through, the rebellious-looking Wilkes book looks the more interesting of the two to me, but both definitely warrant consideration, and hit bookstores at an excellent time.

Both books, by the way, get supportive blurbs from Jordan Ellenberg, among others...
Of Wilkes' book he writes: "spirited, hip-nerdy Burn Math Class is what high school math might look like if it were redesigned by people who loved math but hated high school."

And of Mazur's book, this: "Fluke walks the reader, hand in steady hand, through the weird and dangerous landscape of extreme probability, distinguishing cause from correlate, and phenomenon from mere coincidence."

Check 'em both out!

And lastly, yeah, I know it's Pi Day, so have at it with Vi Hart:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vydPOjRVcSg&feature=youtu.be

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